Depth Perception and Driving

The loss of an eye causes depth perception problems for awhile. Fortunately, depth perception cues are learned in many ways, including the visual.

Your body assists you greatly in being able to judge distances.   Monocular vision (seeing with one eye) causes more difficulty in judging the distance of objects that are nearby (15 feet or less) than those farther away.

You will probably perceive that you are closer to or farther away from an object than you actually are. Consequently, you will have to adjust accordingly. For instance, when you are walking, a curb may appear closer than it actually is, so make sure you have a firm footing before transferring your weight from one foot to another.

The greatest frustration typically occurs in close-up work, such as threading a needle or pouring a cup of coffee. However, you can compensate by having a good source of light behind a needle and approaching it sideways rather than straight on.

Needle threading devices are available at notion counters and in fabric stores, which can simplify this task. When pouring coffee or other liquids, touch the container against the rim of the glass or cup first and then pour.

Depth perception problems also occur because everyone is either right-eye or left-eye dominant and if you lose the dominant eye, your compensation time may be somewhat longer than if you lose the less dominant eye.

However, there are many techniques you can learn to help you judge distances accurately and after awhile, you will find that using such "tricks" are almost automatic and unconscious.

If your remaining eye has good vision, you will still be eligible for a driver's license but you may have to take the driving portion of the test more frequently than before. When you drive, depth perception is particularly important, so be careful to approach the back of other vehicles cautiously and never tailgate!

Since there is some loss of peripheral vision on the blind side, you should turn your entire head in the direction of gaze to compensate.

The loss of an eye is a traumatic event, but with patience and perseverance, you will be able to perform skillfully almost any function with one eye that you were able to do with two.  A very good book worth reading is "A Singular View" which can be ordered on line from the publisher.

Link to A Singular View